Have you ever looked at a bee and asked yourself, “Hmm, I wonder what it’d be like to be a bee?” Well, this game seeks to emulate the first-hand experience of being a bee. This is Bee Simulator.
Bee Simulator: Beecome One With The Bee
Bee Simulator is a simulator game made by the folks over at Varsav Game Studios. As the name suggests, it’s a simulator game made to take you into the role of a honey bee.
It’s not a “meme” game simulator like, let’s say, Goat Simulator. It takes itself seriously, boasting knowledge of actual bee-havior, among various bee-related facts. Not only that, it seems to have a goal of wanting to educate the player about bees along with the awful conditions that bees are in these days.
In this review, we’re going to go through various aspects of the game and examine if this game would be a good fit for you.
Setting and Graphics
The game is set in Honey Park, inspired by Central Park. And like its real life counterpart, Honey Park is full of colorful flowers, trees, and various other living creatures.
The game displays beautiful 2D art very early on in cutscenes. Further, there are also load screens that display said remarkable art along with some bee trivia.
While the 2D art is amazing and beautifully drawn, the 3D graphics aren’t really the best. They look like PS3-quality models. But that’s fine. Not every game needs to bee AAA-video game, I-can-see-every-pore-and-acne-on-this-man’s-face, level of detail on 3D models.
They poured their efforts into the 2D art and it turned out beautifully, props to that.
You like Jazz? Well, too bad, this soundtrack isn’t Jazz. Yet the soundtrack is still quite pleasant to the ear.
The score of the game calls to mind a relaxing walk in a garden. This is perfect, as this is pretty much most of the imagery that the game will show you: pleasant greens, vibrant flowers, and colorful insects.
The voice acting was good. The sound quality was up to standard and there didn’t seem to be any glaring errors in the voice acting. Until you start noticing that all the female voices were possibly voiced by only one person. It might just be me, maybe they just coincidentally sounded alike, but it did kind of throw me off.
Gameplay: Does It Beecome Fun?
“Yeah, that’s all well and good, but what about the gameplay,” I hear you ask. Well, most of the gameplay revolves around being a bee, flying around and getting pollen.
This is an amazing concept because we all know according to all known laws of aviation, there is no way a bee should be able to fly. Its wings are too small to get its fat little body off the ground. The bee, of course, flies anyway because bees don’t care what humans think is impossible. Other features include:
- An “eagle eye” or maybe I should say a “bee eye” mechanic where you can determine the quality of the flowers around you. They’re rated as common, uncommon, rare, epic, and legendary. Wow. Just like loot!
- There’s even a mechanic where you dance with a fellow bee to find out where they found good pollen sources. Which, as far as I know, is how bees communicate where to go. Plus points for beehavioral accuracy.
- Other than flying around and getting pollen, you can also engage in races with other bees. In the same vein, you can also go on chase sequences.
- And the most surprising mechanic is a fighting mechanic. You can fight wasps off and protect your fellow bees from them.
“But is the gameplay fun,” I hear again. Well, I would grade the gameplay of Bee Simulator, on the fun scale, with a big fat B.
B for Boring: The Critique
If you want a feel of how my experience of playing the game was, I’ll give you two words: Superman 64. Yes, the, infamous Superman 64 game about repetitively flying through rings. That’s basically what Bee Simulator‘s gameplay is. You’re collecting pollen by going through rings, chasing other bees by going through rings.
- Sure there are some other mechanics thrown in there like the “speed gauge” that goes up as you collect pollen, that allows you to fly faster. However, it doesn’t really add the necessary mechanic that could make flying around more interesting. The obstacles that are set in your way as you fly about don’t really do much in hindering you – and I’m already playing in hard mode.
- Moreover, another problem with flying around is that it is very dizzying. I play quite a few FPS games, which are very notorious for making people nauseous. However, this is the first time in a while that a game has actually made me feel dizzy. It might be the fault of visual effects when you bump into something, or when you go faster. Whatever it is, I think it needs to be toned down.
- Unfortunately, the fights follow a simple rock-paper-scissors-type mechanic. Granted, you could treat the fights as mini-games. However, I feel as though – especially with all the other problems with the main game mechanic – that this part of the game could’ve been omitted to make the main gameplay more interesting.
- The characters didn’t endear me enough to care about them. I didn’t feel any incentive to know what was going to happen to this specific bee colony.
This is a bee simulator. Simulator games usually try their best to simulate a realistic experience (unless you’re trying to be like Goat Simulator). Hearing bees talking, challenging each other to races, categorizing plants as “epic” isn’t realistic to me.
Maybe it wants to be like Euro Truck Simulator, a relaxing pollen collecting experience. But then again, with how dizzying flying around is, it wouldn’t be.
I can admit that maybe this just isn’t my kind of game. Maybe I’m not the market for this game. I can see children enjoying this: just going around, looking at the pretty flowers and the pretty greenery. I can see this for kids especially because there are parts where there is emphasis on the education concerning the importance of bees and what they do for us. But I wouldn’t even recommend that when we have the nausea problem. I don’t want kids throwing up.
I’d like to credit the devs for having all these facts and trivia about bees. They did a wonderful job researching all this. But I can’t even call it edutainment when it can’t hold my attention because everything surrounding the educational bits is boring.
Moreover, I loved the art. The effort and time put on it was obvious with how beautiful it turned out, but that alone doesn’t make a good, fun game.
I cannot recommend this game especially at the price of 40 dollars. Bee Simulator has left a stinging feeling on my beehind that will stick with me for a while.